OIC Fact Sheet
What is the Options Industry Council?
The Options Industry Council (OIC) is an industry cooperative that educates retail investors, their financial advisors and institutional investors about the benefits and risks of exchange-traded equity options.
Our goal is to provide a financially sound and efficient marketplace where investors can hedge investment risk and find new opportunities to profit from market participation.
Our experienced options seminar instructors provide valuable insight on the challenges and successes encountered when trading options. In addition to live presentations, OIC offers educational content in a variety of formats including brochures, software, online classes, videos and podcasts. Appropriate compliance and legal staff ensure that all OIC-produced information includes a balance of the benefits and risks of options.
Participating Members of OIC
Mary Savoie - Ms. Savoie serves as Executive Director of OIC and First Vice President of Industry Services for OCC.
Why was OIC formed?
The Options Industry Council (OIC) was formed in 1992 by the U.S. options exchanges and OCC to educate investors about equity options.
Equity options are a flexible and beneficial tool that can allow investors to achieve a wide range of investment goals. However, without the proper education and information about this useful but complex product, investors may be at risk. OIC resources provide in-depth education and insight so that investors are well informed of the risks and rewards associated with options.
Volume in equity options has increased exponentially since OIC's inception in 1992. More than 4.1 billion equity options contracts traded on OCC-cleared exchanges in 2013. As the popularity of equity options continues, education of potential investors in the options marketplace is more important than ever.
OIC Educational Programs
Whether a novice, advanced equity options investor or financial advisor, OIC has a wide range of educational programs tailored to meet the knowledge and experience level of all investors. The following free materials are available through OIC's website www.OptionsEducation.org or by calling Investor Services at 1-888-OPTIONS.
"An Investor's Guide to Trading Options"
Written in collaboration with Lightbulb Press, this 64-page book explains what options are and how they work, provides real-world investing scenarios and describes options strategies for various markets. This guide is for investors who trade equities but have not added options to their portfolios, those investors who trade occasionally and for brokers who want to demystify options for their clients or colleagues.
More than 40 evening investor seminars are held in the United States and Canada every year. Seminars include Basic, Options on ETFs, Intermediate, Advanced Strategies, Greeks, and Volatility.
A list of seminar topics and locations, as well as online registration, is available here.
www.OptionsEducation.org highlights balanced options education for retail investors of all backgrounds and skill levels, and offers educational tools such as:
- Interactive online classes
- Options pricing calculators
- Position Simulator
- Virtual Trading System
- Extensive trading data
- Registration for free options seminars
- Access to OIC software and brochures
- A glossary of options terms
- Options trading strategies
- Commonly asked questions and answers
- Expiration calendars
- Press releases
- 20-minute delayed equity options and stock quotes
All of the online tools offered on www.OptionsEducation.org, including the Virtual Trading System, are available through OIC Education. There, you can choose to let MyPath create a structured learning experience, or you can explore the course catalog on your own.
In addition to retail investors, OIC’s website offers options education and information geared specifically towards financial advisors including:
- Trading tools
- Industry best practices
- Market news and quotes
- Options refresher course
- Quarterly newsletter
- Advanced options concepts and strategies
- Access to seminar materials
- Customized seminars for broker education
- Investor research
For an even higher level audience of institutional investors, OIC’s website also provides the following:
- News articles from Barron’s “The Striking Price”
- Research articles and white papers
- Daily volume statistics
On-Demand Videos, Podcasts and Webinars
As part of an initiative to provide more web-based education, on-demand videos and audio podcasts were introduced in 2006. Online webinars were introduced in 2013. All are available at www.OptionsEducation.org.
Options exchange instructors who host OIC’s live seminars are the presenters on our videos on demand. The videos are typically one hour and offer a variety of topics for various investor skill levels. The on-demand function allows visitors to learn at their convenience and at their own pace. Topics include ETFs, covered call writing, options basics, volatility strategies and LEAPS®, among others.
Options Talk with OIC is a series of 10 to 15 minute segments on a variety of options-related topics including covered calls, taxes and option skews. OIC instructors and members of the Investor Services Team offer their expertise during discussions with host Joe Burgoyne, OIC’s Director of Retail Marketing.
OIC also hosts a separate set of podcasts that includes footage from live OIC seminars as well as brief informational snippets on subjects such as essential concepts, terminology and mechanics. All podcast are downloadable through www.OptionsEducation.org. Search for OIC podcasts on iTunes under Options Talk with OIC and Option Strategies for Investors.
Visitors can download and watch recorded footage from a live OIC seminar on their MP3 player, iPod, smart phone, or computer. Each podcast follows the format of OIC’s Basic options seminar and lasts from 8 to 18 minutes. Podcast topics include essential concepts, buying calls, buying puts, covered calls, terminology and mechanics, options pricing and LEAPS®. iTunes also carries the podcasts under the title "Options Strategies for Investors."
Beginning in 2013, OIC introduced a series of webinars hosted by OIC Instructor Joe Burgoyne. The webinars are live events that allow visitors to attend a seminar-style presentation over the internet. Webinars will be posted and archived on the website following the event.
"It’s Good to Have Options" Video Series
"It’s Good to Have Options" is an online video series that introduces investors to exchanged-listed options. Hosted by personal finance columnist and registered investment advisor Terry Savage, "It’s Good to Have Options" is a great tool for beginner options investors. In the talk-show style format, Ms. Savage walks investors through the basics of options such as what they are, ways to use them and their benefits and risks. Ms. Savage leads a panel discussion among options professionals and fields questions from the studio audience. "It’s Good to Have Options" is available via streaming video here.
We distribute Options Central quarterly. The online newsletter provides the latest information on new options issues, strategies and common terms.
Educational references currently available include:
- Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options
- The Equity Options Strategy Guide
- Long–Term Equity AnticiPation Securities®
- Taxes & Investing
- Understanding Index Options
- Understanding Equity Options
Published yearly, this calendar highlights expiration dates for equity, index and interest rate products, currency options, expiration month and strike price codes, and exchange holidays.
Investor Services is a comprehensive options information center that provides information and supports all products traded on all OCC participant exchanges. Staffed by options professionals, OIC's Investor Services is for retail investors and brokers interested in receiving one-on-one information about equity options and OIC.
Individuals may contact the center either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-888-OPTIONS. Investor Services is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST and closes at 3:30 p.m. CST every Monday for training purposes, but maintains regular hours on Mondays following expiration.
Additional functions of Investor Services include:
- Fulfilling requests for OIC, OCC and exchange-specific materials that include interactive educational software and brochures. The center has information about any product OCC clears.
- Taking registrations for OIC-sponsored seminars.
- Answering basic options-related questions using industry terms, product specifications and discussions about basic risks and rewards associated with options.
- Responding to more complex strategic and operational questions for specific options trades and strategies.
Public Contact Information
OIC is headquartered with OCC:
One North Wacker Drive, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60606
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